The federal government of Nigeria says it will have to sell as many as 36 properties to fund its 2021 national budget as a result of challenges in raising funds and expectation of further encumbrances in the international financial markets.
A number of the properties will also be available for concession. The process of sale and concessions began at the beginning of this year and expected to be wrapped up by November 2022.
The Abuja International Conference Centre (ICC), a major venue for local and international programs is part of the properties put on the market. Some oil refineries have also reportedly been listed. A building belonging to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board in the capital, as well as Abuja Water Board and Nigerian Film Corporation properties are up for sale.
Nigeria is also prepared to sell or list for concession some 29 ongoing projects under different federal departments including Energy, Natural Resources, and Industries. Some of these would only be available for partial ownership and for sale in shares and they will be available to foreign investors.
It is not known how much Africa‘s largest economy expects to generate from the fundraising drive but the country’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, has already hinted that Nigeria may borrow up to $14.69 billion from international and local lenders.
Between $1.3 billion and $8.65 is reserved for debt servicing in this fiscal year. Nigeria’s quest to raise money in a very difficult period across the world has been met with challenges of different kinds, including a religious row.
Toward the end of last year, the government announced that it was going to fund some projects using Sukuk, an Islamic financial practice.
Under a Sukuk, an issuer sells an investor group a certificate, which then rents it back to the issuer for a predetermined rental fee, while the issuer also makes a contractual promise to buy back the bonds at a future date at par value.
But the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) accused the federal government headed by a Muslim, of trying to “Islamize” Nigeria.